Members of the Lebanese delegation to the 2016 Olympic Games refused to travel on the same bus as their Israeli counterparts to the opening ceremony in Rio on Friday, by blocking Israeli athletes from entering the vehicle.
JPostIsraeli sailing coach Udi Gal described the incident: “The Israeli delegation was preparing to board a bus to the opening ceremony, which was to be shared with the Lebanese delegation. The Lebanese, upon comprehending that they were to share a bus with the Israelis, addressed the driver in refusal and demanded that the door to the bus be shut. Event organizers then attempted to scatter us on different buses – something that is unacceptable for security reasons.”
“We insisted that we board the bus designated for us – and that the Lebanese should de-board if so they wish. So the bus driver opened the door. But this time, the head of the Lebanese delegation blocked the entrance to the bus with his own body. Event organizers – attempting to prevent a diplomatic incident – then organized a separate ride for us. But the diplomatic incident already occurred – shame!”
A source from the Lebanese Olympic committee told al Mayadeen that the refusal to allow the Israeli delegation to ascend onto the bus was a group decision of the Lebanese Olympic delegation.
For the 2016 Olympic Games which officially opened on Friday, Israel proudly showed off its largest delegation ever, with 47 athletes competing in 17 sports.